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ZF Inaugurates First Production Site for Electric Drives; Volume Production for S-Class Hybrid in 4Q 2008

A ZF DynaStart hybrid drive module.

ZF has officially inaugurated the first location for the production of its DynaStart hybrid drive modules in Schweinfurt, Germany. During the fourth quarter of 2008, ZF will launch volume production to supply the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. The modules will also be built for other cars, buses and delivery vehicles.

The DynaStart modules will be built by ZF Sachs—the Powertrain and Suspension Components Division of ZF. Currently, there are eight volume production projects under development for four vehicle manufacturers, with production launches scheduled between 2008 and 2012. Currently, ZF is launching an annual production volume of 35,000 units. Eventually, production could reach up to 200,000 units per year, with a staff of 50.

We are convinced that hybrid technology will gain ground in the years to come because it not only protects the environment but also pays off for the motorists.

—ZF CEO Hans-Georg Härter

In 2008 alone, ZF will invest more than $89 million in the development of hybrid technology.

DynaStart was developed specifically for the integration into the driveline and is suited for parallel hybrid drive systems in which the electric machine is integrated into the powertrain between the existing launching element and the engine, separated from the engine by another clutch.

This allows for up to 30% fuel savings and emission reductions, depending on whether the vehicle is equipped with a mild hybrid or a full hybrid system and on driving cycle. In the mild hybrid version, DynaStart allows for start/stop operation as well as recuperation.

ZF can produce hybrid modules with capacities between 10 and 100 kW and a maximum torque of 100 to 1,000 Nm.



Wow, that is a beautiful motor. I wonder what would happen if you could just replace the flywheel on engines with one like this. The Silverado pickup did that, but they had all of GMs engineering to make it happen.

If it were a plug and play kind of thing, that might make hybrid retrofits not much harder than changing a clutch. Lots of makes and models, but when you look at engines, they are used across many types by car makers.

Harvey D

...and manufacturing is not labour intensive... i.e. 4000 units per year per employee. This could translate into a labour cost of about $10 to $15 per unit. The factory must be high automated.

Seems to be a very smart low cost way to reduce fuel consumption + retrofit possibilities.

The world could use many more like that.


Speaking of retrofits, here's one from Autoblog Green. The motors go on the outside of the wheels, and it used a deep-cycle lead acid battery pack. They say it'll achieve 100 MPGe.

Cervus, that hybrid system would rip itself off the car on the first bump. Fenders are not good mount points for electric torque. I'm afraid that one won't be the savior of bad US consumption habits.



That does look very dubious from an engineering standpoint.


Interesting concept though. I think it could be made strong enough depending on the configuration of the chassis, but don't get into any fender benders and watch out for curbs. If oil supplies get scarce enough, I wouldn't be surprised to see some of these appear (they'll need something better than LA bats though)


It only needs to pivot a few degrees either way at the mounting point to handle any suspension movement.

Regardless the fender is probably not a strong place for mounting a device of that nature for longevity.


Only 3900 bucks installed, and comes with two free curb feelers!

Interesting idea. It's probably not as bad as it looks, since I doubt that the fender mount is doing anything except keeping the motor from spinning. It isn't holding it up; the thing is mounted to the wheel. Still a problem if you sideswipe a curb, and it's not going to win any beauty contests.


BAS, flywheel, hub motors...there are lots of ways that do not cost a fortune. GM will have their new BAS Plus out in two years that is more powerful.



Where did you get your info on an improved BAS Plus from GM?


All you have to do is search "BAS Plus"+GM

I am surprised that it was not on here.

and other listings as well.

It is a more powerful motor and higher voltage lithium batteries. It is a vague description, but it does assist in take off as well as starting and regenerative braking. It is said to be available in 2 years.

Harvey D

Could a similar unit, with super-caps, be added on planned improved Hybrids and PHEVs to recouperated more breaking power, extend the life of the main battery pack and the electricity only range?


There is no reason BAS-Plus could not have super caps. They just picked lithium batteries because they will start using them on the Volt. Depending on the lithium type, they can take some pretty good regenerative braking energy. Super caps are good for extending battery life, but with the right batteries, they are not necessary.



...mild hybrid? It´s a start-stop-system first. Other automaker call it micro hybrid.
Anyway, such a system ist very old, used in DKWs and Saabs in the 30s, 40s, and 50s.

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